So, V showed me this article, which I think is on the whole a fair articulation of both sides of the RPS issue. http://citybeat.slashcity.org/article.php?sid=29&mode=&order=&thold=
I love the slashcity admins, and think they have a very fair policy on RPS on their servers, for which, as a member who wasn't into RPS when I signed up, I'm very grateful. I did, however, think there was a point made which wasn't given a fair voice in response. An anti-RPS slasher is quoted as saying:
"...there can be no underlying literary justification of it as good stories that people want to tell about archetypical, interesting characters in unique universes and situations."
--with a fairly weak argument quoted in response (good argument, actually, but without any evidence cited). So I decided, as a very good way of getting out of writing anything today <g>, to compile a list of stories which are really about stuff, which have, however you want to define it, literary worth. To post, as it were, the evidence for the defense.
The best RPS, in my opinion, is a humane, sympathetic and empathic exposition of the situations and circumstances these real people are in. The best RPS doesn't *deny* their humanity, but actually *explores* the humanity behind the image. It attempts to deconstruct the synthetic and one-dimensional image we get from the media, and not simply reproduce it in some kind of specialised fantasy, but reconstruct these people, not as the objects of desire they already are, but as real live human beings in extroadinary circumstances.
As a rec list, this leaves off a lot of my favourites. It's a subset: stories which are worth reading for something other than the slash rush; stories which are using public figures to say something intelligent about the world they (and all of us) inhabit. Most good (IMHO) stories do this; these just do it a little more explicitly than most.
Here's my list so far. (I took suggestions from other people, which is why there are stories by me in this list. Honestly, I'm not that vain!)
Stories with exposition of Puppy stuff:
* Rumour, by Calico, which I think articulates really well how the press, and the public, deal with celebrity sexuality, and Different, by Laura, which shows the same thing from a different angle, and Green Room, by Sinead, another angle on it.
* Cuisine, by Calico, and Slim-Fast, by Rhys, and Beauty's Gentle Pleasures, by me, for the pressure of looking good
* Run Through, by Synchronik, about doing your job.
* Starfucker, by Helen, about "the girlfriends" (not slash, though. hmmm.)
* Glimmering, by Amber, about deprivation, and Real, about living a fantasy
* Band, by Lesa, about sacrifices.
* Butter, by Dale, and Bitter and Smiling, by me, for Lou Perlman.
* Phase, by Lunec, for how naive a boy who grew up famous might be.
AU's and other strange fish about stuff:
* Water, by Lesa, and Be Able To Stop, by Helen, which I think are two of the best slash stories ever written, essentially because they deconstruct the basic assumption of slash - that sexuality is mutable.
* Stay the Night, by Em, and the response to it, So, This, by Synchronik - both of which I think are more about dreams and making it in life than about anything else.
Most of the JC and the Pussycats series does excellent work, but in particular,
* The Same Inside, by Helen, the original and the best: what it really means to be a girl
* What Makes You Different, by Lois, which I think is superb on two counts: firstly, that being a girl is rather like being famous, and secondly that, to quote from the story, "the big deal about being a girl was that the world around you felt like it was made for other people who weren't girls."
* The Girl Can Drink, by Jericho, for girl sexuality (Backstreet slash).
* Orlando, by Wax, for the politics of fame and anonymity.
* Stacked, by Synchronik, for beauty and fashion
Stories with oustanding character work:
(by character work I mean, not character work in general, but characters as famous and human)
* Lili Marlene, by Betty Plotnick, for both Justin and Chris
* Mystery, by Em, for Lance and Chris
* Magdalene, by Amber, for Justin and Britney
* Flame, by Rhys, for JC, and Dirty Numb Angel Boy for Justin
* Aged, by Molly, for Justin and Chris
* Imprint, by Wax. Lance and Justin.
* Experience and the sequel Innocence by Lesa. For Lance, and just because they're two of my favourites.
got more suggestions? I know I've left out lots.
try telling me. =)